Vacuum Chamber Materials
Aluminium Vacuum Chambers
Aluminium has less hydrogen and carbon than stainless steel and consequently less H², H²O, & hydrocarbon vapor at high vacuum (HV) & ultra high vacuum (UHV) levels. PM-PRECISION manufactures UHV aluminium vacuum chambers with a thin dense aluminium oxide. This serves as a resistive barrier reducing diffusion & desorption of high vacuum & ultra high vacuum contaminates. Stainless steel chambers, on the other hand, are more permeable to hydrogen and have a comparably large quantity of carbon.
Once baked, PM-PRECISION’s aluminium vacuum chambers generally cycle to high vacuum and ultra high vacuum levels faster and require less pumping than stainless steel chambers. In addition, they bake-out faster and more uniformly even at lower temperatures (150 C). This is due to aluminium’s high thermal conductivity (10x that of stainless steel).
In addition to the excellent vacuum properties of aluminium, it is also a more versatile material from a manufacturing standpoint. Aluminium chambers can be machined 5-axis and faster as stainless steel chambers and therefore less expensively. Aluminium, as a material, is less expensive as well. It can be ordered in several foot thicknesses, can be extruded, and can superplastic flow. Aluminium chambers can be also anodized to add additional chemical resistance. Take a look closer look at some of the vacuum chamber geometries which PM-PRECISION provides.
Stainless Steel Vacuum Chambers
Historically, stainless steel has been the de facto vacuum chamber material and for many applications is still preferable. Some of the advantages of stainless steel include its welding ease, its ruggedness, and for small tubular vessels where the flange price represents a large portion of the over-all cost, its lower cost. Other advantages are that its strength can permit for thinner vacuum chamber walls than Al. This can be an issue in tight clearance applications. (However, aluminium generally has a higher strength to weight ratio). And for some chemical environments stainless is more corrosion resistant.
In addition to our aluminium vacuum chamber manufacturing, PM-PRECISION also manufactures stainless steel vacuum chambers when appropriate or requested. PM’s considerable design, engineering and manufacturing experience in vacuum chamber fabrication can simplify and add unexpected benefits to your vacuum system. Contact PM about any of your vacuum chamber fabrication needs.
Titanium Vacuum Chambers
PM-PRECISION’s Titanium vacuum chambers offer extreme vacuum performance with very low hydrogen permeation rates and secondary gasses. Titanium vacuum chambers, due to the gettering properties of this metal, are in many ways the ultimate vacuum material. For extreme high vacuum, Titanium is often the best choice. However, due to its cost and slow machining it is typically used only when extreme high vacuum is required.
Copper Vacuum Chambers
Copper vacuum chambers and copper alloy vacuum chambers can offer excellent performance for nonmagnetic, radio frequency (RF), and high thermal conductivity applications. Many of the advantages for Aluminium chambers also apply to copper vacuum chambers. Copper vacuum vessels can be extruded, have very little photo-desorption, have good thermal stability, are self shielding for some radiation and have low thermal expansion.
PM-PRECISION’s considerable design, engineering and manufacturing experience in vacuum chamber fabrication can simplify and surprise you with unexpected benefits. Contact PM about any of your vacuum chamber fabrication and vessel fabrication needs.
Custom Vacuum Chambers & Specialty Metal UHV Configurations
PM-PRECISION also has design, engineering and manufacturing experience for exotic and specialty metal chamber fabrication. Contact PM to discuss what you would like to accomplish in vacuum performance and PM will work with you to make it a reality. PM-PRECISION never has fear regarding challenges.